Open Cloud Manifesto Ensures Migration, Not Identity Management

The controversial "Open Cloud Manifesto" is intended to ensure users of Web-based applications such as those offered by Salesforce.com, IBM and Microsoft have the ability to port their data to new providers should they choose to switch services. However, the limitation of cloud services is the lack of secure inter-cloud communications and data exchange between hosted applications.

The availability of ubiquitous and reliable high-speed connectivity has created a boom in software-as-a-service and Web-based applications. According to Gartner, SAAS will be a $53 billion market in 2009 and will grow to more than $150 billion in annual sales by 2013.

With that kind of growth, IBM and Cisco Systems this week unveiled the Open Cloud Manifesto, a pledge among leading vendors supplying cloud-based services to maintain open standards to give customers the ability to exercise choice in selecting and changing services. Part of the concern behind the manifesto is to ensure that no one service provider monopolizes the market or unfairly locks customers into one cloud.

Users can have multiple instances of various hosted and Web-services open on their desktops, authenticating to each of them for access or creating a simulated single sign-on through a locally administered password vault. Most applications will enable cutting-and-pasting of information between applications. However, there's few ways that these applications can automatically port information seamlessly and transparently between them, especially across multiple domains.

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